Divestment / Investment Task Force

Divestment from the fossil fuel industry: Investment in clean renewable energy

On this page you will find resources to help you advocate for divestment/investment policies.

BACKGROUND

We at SF Bay PSR believe that Divestment/Investment is a powerful tool to help expedite a shift toward green, renewable energy development.

Climate change, driven by fossil-fuel emissions, represents a grave threat to human health and world-wide economies. The fossil fuel sector (FF), also known as the coal, oil, and gas sector, includes companies that extract these elements from the earth and/or refine and transport them. Divestment of funds from FF lending, bonds, stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds would encourage industry movement toward non-fossil fuel energy development. Investment in green/renewable (GR) energy will decrease the cost of GR energy and thus increase demand. As we progress toward a fossil-fuel-free economy, GR energy must be developed before increasing the electrification of transportation and buildings. Without increased GR sources, increased electrification will not lead to an appreciable net reduction in fossil-fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The US financial sector is moving away from fossil-fuel investments. In December 2019, Goldman Sachs became the first large U.S. bank to establish restrictions on financing of thermal coal mines and the oil-and-gas sector, stressing the importance of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Goldman Sachs also forecast that renewable energy will be the largest area of investment in the energy industry. More recently the Trump Administration’s auction of oil and gas leases in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge and California drew few bids and little income. In public statements, six of the largest banks in the US said they would not back oil and gas exploration in the Artic. These are just a few examples.

Globally the divestment movement is taking off. According to the Yale Climate Connections, “Worldwide, 66 financial institutions and insurance companies have formally decided to eliminate or significantly reduce their financial support for oil and gas drilling, and 131 companies are divesting from coal mining and/or coal-fired power plants. The tallies are maintained by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.”

OUR GOAL

SF Bay PSR has joined forces with other NGOs and institutions to support a broad movement pushing for individual and institutional divestment from the fossil-fuel industry and investment in the alternative energy sector.

OUR TACTICS

  • Support Fossil Free California’s (FFCA) effort to build a coalition to work over the next year toward legislation to be introduced in 2022
  • Assist FFCA by educating legislators, organizational allies, and the public about the environmental health impact of fossil fuels.
  • Bring allies to the conversation and support FFCA in reaching other allies and legislators
  • Submit and support others in submitting divestment/investment policy proposals to institutions, associations, etc.

2021 PROJECTS

To join SF Bay PSR’s Divestment/Investment Task Force and/or for information to help your individual or organizations’ divestment/investment policy development, please contact tara@sfbaypsr.org.

ADVOCACY TOOLS AND RESOURCES